The sermon was also good, from Col. 3, and stayed close to the biblical text.
I have not personally used the NRSV very much, but from my exposure to it yesterday, I noticed that the vocabulary of the NRSV is in a higher register than that used in several other English Bible versions used today. This requires that users of the NRSV know a more technical and "higher level" (more "educated") vocabulary than that used in other versions. This tells me that whether intended or not, the NRSV is targeted at an audience of readers who are more highly educated than those who read most other recent English versions. This would be true even if the NRSV ranks the same as other versions on reading level tests such as Flesch-Kincaid. F-K is not a smart enough test to measure vocabulary register. For vocabulary, F-K only measures reading level in terms of average word length, not register level.
Given the higher register of the NRSV vocabulary, it is no surprise that the NRSV is highly recommended by many biblical scholars. Of course "ordinary" readers can still use the NRSV. But some of them may need to use an annotated edition of the NRSV which defines the higher register words, if there are such editions. Or they may need to have an English dictionary beside them when they read the NRSV.
When I can free up some time, I would like to create another poll to be posted on this blog, field testing how well Bible readers understand some of the less well known words in the NRSV.
Categories: NRSV, reading level, Flesch-Kincaid, register